Delia Smith Smoked Mackerel Pâté Recipe

Delia Smith Smoked Mackerel Pâté Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 Mins

If you are looking for a delicious and easy appetizer that can be made in advance, look no further than Delia Smith’s smoked mackerel pâté recipe. This creamy and flavorful pâté is made with hot smoked mackerel, ricotta cheese, soured cream, lemon juice, and capers. It is perfect for spreading on toasted bread or crackers or serving with fresh salad greens.

In this blog post, I will show you how to make Delia Smith smoked mackerel pâté recipe, with step-by-step instructions and photos. I will also share some tips and variations, and answer some frequently asked questions about this recipe.

Let’s get started!

What is Delia Smith Smoked Mackerel Pâté Recipe?

Delia Smith Smoked Mackerel Pâté Recipe is a creamy and flavorful appetizer that is made with hot smoked mackerel, ricotta cheese, soured cream, lemon juice, and capers. It is a simple and reliable recipe from Delia Smith, a famous British cook and writer, who has published many bestselling cookbooks and hosted several TV shows. You can make this pâté in advance, and serve it with toasted bread or crackers, or fresh salad greens.

Why You Love This Recipe?

This recipe is a standout for several reasons:

  • Flavorful Delight: The combination of tangy and smoky flavors from the mackerel perfectly complements the rich, creamy texture of the cheese and cream, creating a dish that is both delicious and satisfying.
  • Ease and Efficiency: Preparing this pâté is both easy and quick. With minimal ingredients and a food processor, you can have it ready in under 15 minutes. Just mix, blend, and let it chill until serving time.
  • Customizable: This recipe is highly adaptable. Feel free to experiment with various types of smoked fish, cheeses, or creams. Enhance it with fresh herbs, pickles, or spices to suit your taste. It’s versatile enough to be served as a starter, a snack, or even as part of a light lunch.

Ingredients Needed to Make Delia Smith Smoked Mackerel Pâté

To make Delia Smith’s smoked mackerel pâté recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 4 smoked mackerel fillets (about 10 oz/275 g)
  • 4 oz (110 g) ricotta cheese
  • 5 fl oz (150 ml) soured cream
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 heaped tablespoon miniature (nonpareilles) capers
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Watercress
  • Lemon wedges

Useful Equipment

You will also need a food processor, and 8 small ramekins or a 1 pint (570 ml) capacity serving dish.

Instructions to Make Delia Smith Smoked Mackerel Pâté

Here are the step-by-step instructions for making Delia Smith’s smoked mackerel pâté recipe:

  1. Skin and flake the mackerel. Remove the skin from the fish, and lift the flesh away from the bones. You can use your fingers or a fork to do this. Flake the fish into small pieces, and place them in the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Add the ricotta, soured cream, lemon juice, and seasonings. Add the ricotta cheese, soured cream, lemon juice, a good pinch of salt, black pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg to the bowl. You can adjust the amount of lemon juice and seasonings according to your taste later.
  3. Blend until smooth. Process the mixture until it is completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through. You may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your food processor.
  4. Taste and adjust. Transfer the pâté to a large bowl, and taste it. Add more lemon juice, salt, pepper, or nutmeg if needed. The pâté should have a balanced and tangy flavor, that complements the smokiness of the mackerel.
  5. Pack into ramekins or a serving dish. Spoon the pâté into 8 small ramekins, or a 1 pint (570 ml) capacity serving dish. Smooth the top with a spatula, and cover with cling film. Refrigerate for several hours, or overnight, to let the flavors develop and the pâté set.
  6. Garnish and serve. Before serving, sprinkle some capers and cayenne pepper over the top of each ramekin, or the serving dish. Garnish with some watercress and lemon wedges. Serve with hot toasted wholemeal bread, or your choice of crackers. Enjoy!

Delia Smith Smoked Mackerel Pâté

What Do I Serve With Delia Smith Smoked Mackerel Pâté?

To complement this pâté, consider these serving options:

  • Bread and Crackers: Serve it on hot toasted wholemeal bread or with a selection of your favorite crackers. These provide a satisfying crunch and a neutral base to let the flavors of the pâté shine.
  • Fresh Salad Greens: Pair it with refreshing salad greens like watercress, arugula, or spinach. These greens add a fresh, healthy contrast to the richness of the pâté.
  • Lemon Wedges: Accompany with lemon wedges for guests to squeeze over their serving. This enhances the pâté’s flavor and adds a burst of freshness.
  • Assorted Dips and Spreads: Create a colorful and varied platter by including other dips, spreads, or sauces such as hummus, tzatziki, salsa, or chutney.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Delia Smith Smoked Mackerel Pâté?

Achieving the perfect Smoked Mackerel Pâté requires some finesse. Here are expert tips to guide you:

  • Select the Right Mackerel: Opt for hot-smoked mackerel instead of cold-smoked. Hot smoked mackerel is known for its firmer, flakier texture and bolder smoky flavor, contrasting with the milder, moister cold smoked variety.
  • Preparation of the Fish: Carefully remove the skin and bones. This can be done using fingers, a fork, or a sharp knife to ensure the pâté is smooth and free from any unwanted bits.
  • Blending Technique: Blend the pâté to a smooth consistency, but be cautious not to overdo it. Retaining some texture adds to the character of the pâté. If you prefer a more rustic touch, leave some fish chunks.
  • Flavor Adjustment: Before transferring the pâté into ramekins or a dish, taste and adjust the seasoning. This is the time to fine-tune with additional lemon juice, salt, pepper, or nutmeg to achieve a balanced, tangy flavor that complements the smokiness of the mackerel.
  • Refrigeration for Flavor Development: Allow the pâté to set by refrigerating it for several hours or overnight. This step is crucial for flavor enhancement and makes unmolding (especially from ramekins) much easier.

Variations of Delia Smith Smoked Mackerel Pâté?

Experimenting with different ingredients can lead to delightful variations of this classic pâté:

  • Alternate Fish Choices: Instead of mackerel, try smoked trout, salmon, or herring. Each offers a unique flavor profile. Even within smoked mackerel, consider trying plain, peppered, or other flavored varieties.
  • Cheese and Cream Alternatives: Swap ricotta cheese with cream cheese, mascarpone, or Greek yogurt for a different texture and taste. Likewise, replace soured cream with double cream or crème fraîche for a richer, creamier pâté.
  • Fresh Herbs and Pickles: Infuse the pâté with fresh herbs like dill, parsley, or chives for added flavor and a pop of color. Incorporating chopped gherkins, cornichons, or pickled onions can introduce a delightful crunch.
  • Spice It Up: For a spicier edge, add horseradish, mustard, or Worcestershire sauce. To venture into more exotic flavors, consider smoked paprika, cumin, or curry powder.

How do I store Delia Smith Smoked Mackerel Pâté Leftovers?

Proper storage is key to maintaining the quality of the Smoked Mackerel Pâté. Here’s how:

  1. Refrigeration: Store the pâté in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can be kept for up to 2 days. To preserve its moisture and prevent odor absorption, cover the pâté’s surface with cling film.
  2. Freezing: For longer storage, the pâté can be frozen in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Remember to label and date it, and leave a little space for expansion. Thaw the pâté overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

How do I reheat Delia Smith’s Smoked Mackerel Pâté Leftovers?

Reheating the pâté correctly is essential to enjoy its best flavor and texture.

Here are the methods:

  1. Microwave: Place the pâté in a microwave-safe bowl or plate. Heat for about 30 seconds or until it’s warm, stirring halfway through to ensure even heating. Always check the temperature before serving.
  2. Oven: Reheat the pâté in an oven-safe dish at 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4 for about 10 minutes or until it’s sufficiently warmed. Cover the dish with foil to prevent the pâté from drying out or burning.
  3. Stovetop: Warm the pâté in a saucepan over low to medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the pâté seems too thick or dry, add a small amount of water, cream, or milk to adjust its consistency.

Nutrition value per serving (based on 8 servings):

  • Calories: 247 kcal
  • Fat: 21 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2 g
  • Protein: 13 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Sodium: 284 mg
  • Potassium: 248 mg
  • Calcium: 64 mg
  • Iron: 1 mg

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about Delia Smith’s smoked mackerel pâté recipe:

Is smoked mackerel pâté healthy?

Smoked mackerel pâté is a good source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and selenium, which are beneficial for your heart, brain, and immune system. However, it is also high in calories, fat, and sodium, so you should enjoy it in moderation, and balance it with some fresh vegetables or salad.

How do you skin smoked mackerel?

To skin smoked mackerel, you can use a sharp knife to cut along the edge of the skin, and then peel it off with your fingers. Alternatively, you can use a fork to lift the flesh away from the skin, starting from the tail end and working your way up.

How do you toast wholemeal bread?

To toast wholemeal bread, you can use a toaster, an oven, or a grill. If you are using a toaster, simply place the bread slices in the slots, and toast them until golden and crisp. If you are using an oven, preheat it to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4, and place the bread slices on a baking sheet. Bake them for 10 to 15 minutes, turning them halfway, until golden and crisp. If you are using a grill, preheat it to high, and place the bread slices on a grill rack. Grill them for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until golden and crisp.

How do I make smoked mackerel pâté without a food processor?

You can make smoked mackerel pâté without a food processor by using a fork, a potato masher, or a hand blender. You will need to flake the fish into very small pieces, and mash or blend it with the cheese, cream, lemon juice, and seasonings, until you get a smooth or chunky paste, depending on your preference.

How do I make smoked mackerel pâté vegan?

Creating a vegan version of Delia Smith’s Smoked Mackerel Pâté is quite simple. Start by substituting the smoked mackerel with a plant-based alternative like smoked tofu, tempeh, or jackfruit, each offering a unique texture and smoky flavor. For the dairy components, opt for vegan alternatives such as cashew cheese or almond-based cheese for ricotta, and coconut cream or a soy-based sour cream substitute. Vegan margarine can replace butter to maintain the pâté’s rich texture. Follow the original recipe’s method, but adjust the lemon juice and seasonings to taste, ensuring the flavors complement your vegan ingredients. This approach allows you to recreate the pâté’s distinct savory and tangy profile while adhering to vegan dietary preferences.

How do I make smoked mackerel pâté less fishy?

You can make smoked mackerel pâté less fishy by adding more lemon juice, horseradish, mustard, or herbs, to balance the smoky and fishy flavor of the mackerel. You can also use a milder type of smoked fish, such as trout or salmon, instead of mackerel. Alternatively, you can serve the pâté with some pickled vegetables, such as beetroot, cucumber, or onion, to cut through the richness of the pâté.

Conclusion

Delia Smith’s smoked mackerel pâté recipe is a delicious and easy appetizer that can be made in advance and served with toasted bread or crackers. It is creamy and flavorful, with a tangy and smoky taste. It is perfect for parties, picnics, or any occasion. I hope you enjoyed this blog post, and learned how to make Delia Smith’s smoked mackerel pâté recipe. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. I would love to hear from you. Thank you for reading, and happy cooking!

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